Next time you hear someone question whether a woman can be president, you might want to refer them to the list below of democratically elected women heads of state and government. There have been 53 total to date.

This list was provided by the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. It was originally published in connection with this article about attitudes toward women leaders.

List of All Freely Elected Women Heads of State and Government (listed by election date):

1. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka
Prime Minister, 1960-1965, 1970-1977, 1994-2000

2. Indira Gandhi, India
Prime Minister, 1966-77, 1980-1984

3. Golda Meir, Israel
Prime Minister, 1969-1974

4. Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain
Prime Minister, 1979-1990

5. Lucinda da Costa Gomez-Matheeuws, Netherlands Antilles
Prime Minister, 1977

6. Maria da Lourdes Pintasilgo, Portugal
Prime Minister, 1979-1980

7. Dame Eugenia Charles, Dominica
Prime Minister, 1980-1995

8. Vigdís Finnbogadóttír, Iceland
President, 1980-96

9. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway
Prime Minister, 1981, 1986-1989, 1990-1996

10. Agatha Barbara, Malta
President, 1982-1987

11. Maria Liberia-Peters, Netherlands Antilles
Prime Minister, 1984-1986, 1988-1993

12. Corazon Aquino, Philippines
President, 1986-92

13. Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan
Prime Minister, 1988-1990, 1993-1996

14. Kazimiera Danuta Prunskiena, Lithuania
Prime Minister, 1990-91

15. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Nicaragua
Prime Minister, 1990-1996

16. Mary Robinson, Ireland
President, 1990-1997

17. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl, German Democratic Republic
President, 1990

18. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar (Burma)
Though her party won 80 percent of the vote in 1990, she did not serve and remains under house arrest

19. Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh
Prime Minister, 1991-1996, 2001-2006

20. Edith Cresson, France
Prime Minister, 1991-1992

21. Hanna Suchocka, Poland
Prime Minister, 1992-1993

22. Kim Campbell, Canada
Prime Minister, 1993

23. Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Rwanda
Prime Minister, 1993-1994

24. Susanne Camelia-Romer, Netherlands Antilles
Prime Minister, 1998-1999

25. Tansu Çiller, Turkey
Prime Minister, 1993-1995

26. Chandrika Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka
Prime Minister, 1994, President, 1994-2005

27. Claudette Werleigh, Haiti
Prime Minister, 1995-1996

28. Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh
Prime Minister, 1996-2001

29. Mary McAleese, Ireland
President, 1997-present

30. Pamela Gordon, Bermuda
Premier, 1997-1998

31. Janet Jagan, Guyana
Prime Minister, 1997, President, 1997-1999

32. Jenny Shipley, New Zealand
Prime Minister, 1997-1999

33. Ruth Dreifuss, Switzerland
President, 1999-2000

34. Jennifer Smith, Bermuda
Prime Minister, 1998-2003

35. Helen Clark, New Zealand
Prime Minister, 1999- present

36. Mireya Moscoso, Panama
President, 1999-2004

37. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia
President, 1999-2007

38. Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Finland
President, 2000-present

39. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Phillipines
President, 2001-present

40. Mame Madior Boye, Senegal
Prime Minister, 2001-2002

41. Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia
President, 2001-2004

42. Beatriz Merino, Peru
Prime Minister, 2003

43. Mirna Louisa-Godett, Netherlands Antilles
Prime Minister, 2003-2004

44. Luísa Dias Diogo, Mozambique
President, 2004-present

45. Angela Merkel, Germany
Chancellor, 2005-present

46. Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine
Prime Minister, 2005, 2007-present

47. Michelle Bachelet, Chile
Prime Minister, 2005, 2007-present

48. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Switzerland
Prime Minister, 2006-2007

49. Emily de Jongh Elhage, Netherlands Antilles
Prime Minister, 2006-present

50. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia
President, 2006-present

51. Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica
Prime Minister, 2006-2007

52. Pratibha Patil, India
President, 2007-present

53. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina
President, 2007-present

Source: Council of Women World Leaders – updated Jan. 1, 2008

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